One of the largest accumulations of heavy oil and bitumen in the world are associated to Venezuelan reservoirs, where the Orinoco Belt alone has some 1.2 × 1012 Bis. of oil in place.

It is a well known fact that production of heavy oil and bitumen presents additional difficulties, as compared to more conventional hydrocarbons, in aspects such as: reservoir engineering, well completion and artificial lift, as well as surface facilities and associated procesess. These additional difficulties impact in high investments and production cost, which together with low market price result in marginal profitability.

In orden to improve these margins of profitability, a master plan was designed and implemented which consist in analyzing each aspect, considering new technology or new applications of existing technology that could make these hydrocarbons more competitive. Care was taken in that these technologies could interact with each other.

The following discussion is organized with projects with final evaluation first, on going projects next and future projects last. Also, where possible a sequence from reservoir aspects, to well completion and surface facilities is followed.

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